Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Decision 2008

I have made it a point not to discuss the Presidential race or endorse a candidate in my postings because I want this blog to be about issues and ideas and not about personalities. However, I would like to suspend that custom today and comment on the results of yesterday's historic U.S. Presidential election.

I must admit that I did not vote for Barack Obama yesterday. Other than his opposition to the war in Iraq, his views are antithetical to those presented in this blog. However, today I am proud of my country for electing him. Although he had a number if advantages - fund raising, George Bush's unpopularity, John McCain's link to an unpopular war and the simple truth that the party that holds the White House during an economic downturn always loses it - any of those could have been negated by racial prejudice, and they weren't. I may not agree that President-elect Obama's policies will be the best for our future, however 63 million Americans did and they didn't let Barack Obama's race dissuade them. That may seem like a small thing, but in a country that as recently as 150 years ago enslaved people of colour and as recently as 50 years ago had laws designed to deny them access to the voting booth, it is a big deal.

But more than that, Barack Obama is a bi-racial person, and on his father's side, a first generation American (the son of a Kenyan immigrant). His origins are humble, raised by a single parent and grandparents. From this improbable beginning, he will become President of the United States. His election is an affirmation that the American Dream is alive and well. He has demonstrated that we speak the truth when we tell our young people that in this great land, you can be anything you want to be and achieve anything you set your mind to achieve. Regardless of who your parents are or the colour of your skin, the United States of America is a land of opportunity for all.

I am sure that in the years to come I will be posting criticism of some of President Obama's policies. But today it is my sincere hope that his administration will be a successful one during which our nation enjoys peace and prosperity. It is my hope that his election will transform how the world views the U.S. by demonstrating to the world that we are not simply a nation of gun-slinging cowboys, but a nation of diverse peoples.

I did not support Senator Obama's candidacy, but his election reminds my of why I love this country.